Roses in Spain: the calm of the Costa Brava

Folk-Travel brings you to Roses, the seaside town where it is good to stroll by the sea with its pleasant climate helped by the tramontane coming to refresh during the hot summer days.  This seaside destination is a real postcard that will delight lovers of idleness but it is also an ideal destination to enjoy water sports.

It is a town with a history dating back to more than 3000 BC and was part of the county of Empuries, serving as a port and strategic point for trade with Italy, North Africa and the Balearic Islands. From the 16th to the 19th century, it was occupied several times by the French.

Located less than 50km from the border with France, Roses is a seaside resort that is well worth a visit from Best places to see and do on the Costa Brava . In particular, it is surrounded by beautiful little coves that will delight beach lovers and scuba divers alike.

One day can be enough, but we recommend staying a few days to visit the most beautiful coves in the area and the most beautiful villages such as Cadaques, Begur or Calella de Palafrugell.

Cala Joncols This pebble beach with a coral bottom is ideal for diving, but access is difficult, with a 6km dirt road. It is one of the beaches of the Mediterranean where you can sunbathe on naturist beaches like Platja del Canadell. It is an ideal place for a swim in this heavenly cove! The shallow sea and its translucent waters will allow you to see shells and rocks of aquatic fauna.

Plage El Bonifaci A small cove accessible only by boat which is located between L'Almadrava and Canyelles Petites. Alternatively, you can take the coastal path from either of the two beaches. It is not a long beach but it has clear waters. All the creeks are not supervised, so be careful! Put your towel down on this lovely unspoilt beach and relax for a relaxing beach holiday.

After our road-trip to the Costa Brava, we present you the must-see places in Roses here:

1- Walk along the Promenade

From the centre, go to Nova beach to walk the Roses seafront promenade which will take you to the port area, where you can walk, run, rollerblade or simply enjoy a quiet ice cream, which is one of the best things to do in Roses.

The promenade is shaped like a half moon and borders the Gulf of Roses, one of the most famous on the Catalan coast. Wide sandy beaches and calm waters for family bathing make the beach of Roses a pleasant place.

The catamarans that cross the bay to Cadaqués and Cap de Creus leave from this promenade.

We recommend that you take these unmissable trips if you are visiting Roses for a moment of pure relaxation with these water activities. The bay of Roses is the ideal place to learn to paddle and other water activities! 

Catamaran trip at sunset in the bay of Rosas
Catamaran trip in Cadaqués

Don't miss the magnificent sunset that illuminates the entire bay of Roses with its golden hue.

It is in this great archaeological complex, gathering the history of the city that we advise you to take the time to discover this 16th century fortress: the Ciutadella de Roses
You will discover an important archaeological site of the Roman city of the 2nd century BC. You will discover an important archaeological site of the Roman city of the 2nd century BC, a monastery, a necropolis and the famous medieval fortifications. The entrance fee is 4€, and you should allow about one hour for a guided tour of 17 hectares. Open all year round Av. de Rhode, 17480 Roses.

🏝️ Où Dormir à Roses : notre sélection Coup de Coeur

2- Visit the Citadel of Roses

It is in this great archaeological complex, gathering the history of the city that we advise you to take the time to discover this 16th century fortress: the Ciutadella de Roses
You will discover an important archaeological site of the Roman city of the 2nd century BC. You will discover an important archaeological site of the Roman city of the 2nd century BC, a monastery, a necropolis and the famous medieval fortifications. The entrance fee is 4€, and you should allow about one hour for a guided tour of 17 hectares. Open all year round Av. de Rhode, 17480 Roses.

3- Walk from Ronda de Roses to Cala Montjoi

If you are looking to discover the coast and you like walking, then we advise you to follow the GR92 path. It starts at the lighthouse in Roses and ends at Cala Montjoi, and you can extend it to Cadaqués. Like most of these coastal paths, they were created to monitor smuggling.

You will discover the most beautiful beaches and hidden coves of Roses for no less than 8 kilometres (allow 3 hours one way.) You will walk along the cliffs and follow a path that leads to the beach to observe the crystal clear water with heavenly beaches below as we have seen in Sardinia. 

Our favourite is the wild sandy beach: one of the most beautiful rocky coves as Cala Rostella a cove with crystal clear waters like in the Caribbean . From the heights, its turquoise water, a real paradise on earth! Cala Rostella is 110 metres long and has large gravelly sands. Surrounded by a large pine forest, it is sheltered from the wind. Moreover, its crystal clear waters and the beauty of its seabed invite us to go snorkelling. In short, a real oasis! Ideal for snorkeling and other underwater activities, the sea bed is breathtaking!

4- Castillo de la Trinitat: The Impossible Fortress

Heading south along the promenade, you will reach the lighthouse at the end, which borders the sea. A little higher up is Castell de Trinidad, which overlooks the Punta de la Poncella.

This 16th century fortress is built in the shape of a five-pointed star with stone walls no less than 5 metres thick. The fortress protected the harbour area and the coast from attacks from the sea with its powerful cannons.

Once at the top of the castle you will see the old cannonballs and, above all, it is one of the best views of the bay of Roses and the cove of Canyelles on the Costa Brava.

5- Castrum Visigótico

Another magnificent place for its view of Roses and the whole bay is the Castrum Visigótico. This is the walled enclosure still visible from the Visigoth era

The Visigoths dominated most of the Iberian Peninsula from 420 to 711, initially dependent on the Roman Empire, they became an empire in their own right when the Western Empire fell.

See the remains of the old wall and two towers, houses, silos and alleys as they were in those days.

6- Wander around the Old Town

How pleasant it is to stroll through the narrow pedestrian streets of the historic centre of Roses. You will see the church of Santa Maria with its neoclassical façade. Roses is also a town where you will find a variety of shops, bars and restaurants. Stop off for an artisanal ice cream at Louis', ideal for a refreshing drink!

7- The largest dolmen in Catalonia

Are you well relaxed? Then take your car and drive up the Montjoi road until you reach the car park of the Creu d'en Cobertella dolmen, which is a must-see during your holiday on the Costa Brava.

You will see the largest megalithic dolmen in Catalonia with the chamber and antechamber of this tomb from 3000 years ago.

But there is a whole 15km route to be made where menhir, dolmen and so many other wonders can be visited from June to September at the end of the day.

View of the castle of Begur spain spain espana catalunya

Things to see around Roses

If you are in the area for a few days then we definitely recommend visiting one of the most beautiful towns on the Costa Brava:

- Castello d'Empuries . We enjoyed the atmosphere of the town and wandered through the old streets to its washhouse.We stayed at this well located hotel in Castello d’Empuries :  Hotel Canet 

But also :
- The Natural Park of Cap de Creus for its tranquillity and its wild coastline with its turquoise waters

- For fishermen a night trip to the beach of San Pere Pescador to bring back excellent fish or enjoy the beach.

And discover other places in the Mediterranean Sea with the the most beautiful beaches and villages of the Costa Brava on our article to perfect your next holiday in this little corner of paradise between stretches of white sand and turquoise blue water.

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